tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN February 14, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am EST
what we are looking at here is the carnival ship "triumph" and a week ago there was a fire in the engine room and while it did not take this ship to take on any water or cause any distress, it did knock out power. and now after days, they are finally home. people have lived without sanitation, and toilets and without any climate control, and very difficult living for many days, but now they are finally home. that is what we are looking at. mobile, alabama. >> now, they are not coming off yet, yet, but it is going to be happening soon, and they will unload by dock and over the next few hours, that i will be g-- t be getting out. for now, that is go g ing to do for our hour of "ac360" and now erin burnett will take over live from mobile, alabama. erin? "outfront" next, and it is a moment we have been waiting for
days. carnival ship "triumph" has docked here in mobile, alabama, and the nightmare that thousands opeople have lived through is almost over. we will talk to the passengers and learn more about the horrific or deal thhave lived there. you have listened to them on the phone and now you will meet them. them. let's go "outfront." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com and a good evening to everyone, i'm erin burnett, and "outfront" tonight, in mobile, alabama, breaking news, the carnival ship "triumph" has returned to port, and now the 4,226 passengers and crew members are starting to disembark. to give you a sense of what it is like here, when the ship first pulled up, i did not know what to expect, but it was really just incredibly dark. you could see the lights down where the lifeboats were, but where all of the passengers were, completely dark in the
rooms behind them, but when it pulled up, they were cheering and i mean it was really amazing to see. cheering with signs and even in some cases hanging those biohazard red bags that you have now seen everywhere outside of the ship. now, after engine room fire on sunday, the ship lost power and it has been five days stuck at sea in conditions that passengers describe as horrific. no hot water and limited food and people talk about waiting in line 3 1/2 hours for food and few working toilets. now even though the ship is here, the passengers have to wait to get off and that is the process we are seeing now, and carnival says it could take three to four hours to get everybody off of the ship. cruise line has buses waiting in the garage next to where i am standing and rented 1,500 rooms in new orleans and a lot of charter flights to send people back to houston tomorrow, and people will be staying here in mobile, and a short time ago the
ceo of carnival cruise lines gerry cahill apologized. here he is a moment ago as he is on board right now. >> i want to reiterate the apology i made earlier. i know that the conditions on board were poor and it is very difficult and i want to apologize again for subjecting the guests to that. we pride ourselves in providing our guests with a great vacation experience, and clearly, we failed in this particular case. now, there's one other thing. i know we have been making the media updates as we have gone throughout the course of the day providing the status of what is going on with the ship and all, and it is our plan to continue thos those, and we will continue those as the last guests get on the ship and on their way getting home. we know that we have gotten our guests back to land, and now we have to get them home. we have the full resources of carnival working from here to get them home as quickly as we
possibly can. now, the most important thing for me at this point in time is to go on board and to apologize to our guests. once i finish, th that, i will around and try to expedite the process of getting them off and home as quickly as possible. so right now i want to go on board to apologize to the guests. thank you very much. >> all right. he is on board right now. we will see how the guests as he calls them feels about carnival cruise lines a and that apologies. robin burgess is one of the pas is je passen jers -- passengers on board hearing that apology. and you heard that, and we heard that with the media that he is going on board. is that enough?
>> -- he did not count this to happen, and really things beyond their control, and so i accept the apology, and they did the best they could under the circumstances, and we do appreciate that. >> and i know it is a little bit difficult to hear as she is still on the ship, but joe and blake, this is a first cruise for someone in your family. >> right. >> and you talked to robin several times over the past few days and what did she tell you was happening? >> well sh, i didn't talk talk her several times until today. i talked to her monday about the time that the tugboats were arriving. she was telling some pretty bad. >> it was getting pretty bad? >> yes. that is the last news i heard for a few days was that how bad
it was getting. so i didn't really have any idea how it was except for the news. until today. >> yes. i mean, and robin, i don't know if we will try this, try to hear you, because it is difficult for us to hear you where you are, and we have all of the people cheering and a train going by, so many things are happening. but have they told you how long it will take for you and brooklyn to get off of the ship or do you know? >> i don't know. they have not told us. they have told us some things that they will be calling by deck, and we are on the seventh deck, and they have not call for that floor yet. in fact, i think that they have only called for the vip passengers so far. ? on the seventh deck, so it could be a long wait. >> yes, ma'am. >> and you have been deciding whether you are going on another cruise and i know what you feel right now is not what you feel in a little while.
debating as a family whether to take a cruise or not, and are you going to do it or rethink it? >> well, we will have to definitely think about it. i want to find out how good it was before the, before sunday morning, a then we will consider it. but right now, it'd be a little difficult to choose to take a cruise, of course. >> robin, what was the worst thing that happened over the past few days to you and brooklyn and i know that you were on this cruise with some other friends. >> yes. well, i was on here with my sister-in-law and my niece juliana, and my sister-in-law's niece brianna, and the worst thing that we had to deal with was the toilet issue. the smell was unbelievable. and the sewer water in the hallways and having to wear your shoes and, you know, just where
you weren't to step in anything like that. so this, that situation was the most trying. >> all right. robin, thank you very much, and i hope it does not take long, because she is up on the seventh deck and we will hopefully get to be with robin and brooklyn and you all when she is here safe and sound. >> yes, ma'am. >> and hopefully it won't take long. and we will see you in a few minutes, and thank you for taking the time and we will be with the burgess family when they reunite. one thing, the wheelchairs are being brought on up the gangway and bringing a few on and there was an ambulance that was here, and we don't know whether that was for someone specifically or if it was just safety, but that is one thing that we notice as we were standing here, and right now people have gotten, a lot fewer people out on the balconies than there were and it
seemed like a lot more when the ship brought in, but they are getting ready to disembark, and as we get ready for that, one of the big questions is whether there are big changes for carnival and whether there are big changes for the cruise industry as a result of this. i have been here with martin savidge for days here, and that is the big question. is this just going to be a quick flip and big story now or is this something to cause real change. >> well, i think that especially the cruise industry has to look at this, and we already talked about could there be serious design flaws in the way that the ships are power and the way that the generators are taking them all out. >> yes. >> and also, the fact that how serious was the fire. the passengers only knew it was a fire, but they don't know how widespread it was. there are a number of things that could have turned what was a small fire to a disaster at sea. and when you are that far out, nobody can come in a hurry to
get you. >> that is one thing. it was dangerous the put everybody on lifeboats to put them on another ship, but -- it looks like people are starting to run off right now. coming down the gangway and we will keep an eye on that. that was an issue how far they were out and there is not another ship in service or nearby. there was no room for everybody on another ship, so what is the -- to be catastrophic, because this will come up. >> and you cannot in a mid-sea transfer in a circumstance like this, you would not risk, because it is not sinking or on fire and people jumping in the water, because they are on board and safe, and if you start to transper feem on -- transfer
people on to life boboats in th middle of the ocean, and they know they were miserable, but they kept them alive which is first and foremost, but moving forward, why did this happen in the first place. >> yes, this is what a lot off people have to ask. looking at the statistics, there was a carnival cruise ship, the "splendor" which caught fire, and reports of ten more cruise ship fires between then and now. >> and we are look, because we are are wanting to make sure that when the first passengers get off and you see the wheelchairs making it on to the decks up there, and those are for the passengers with any difficult moving. that has been a real problem. and you know, when the elevators were out and people had to take only the stairs with the tripod over my head, but you have to be aware for many of the passengers it was difficult to get around and some of them could not get around at all, because without an elevator and if you are eldly or disabled in any way, the ship
is a different terrain than you are used to. >> it is a prison and as the ship docked here and we were talking about it, there were some lights up on the top deck and people had flashlights, but there in the balconies, it is pitch dark in the rooms. >> yes, and that is something that is striking here. the outside illuminated looks like a beautiful cruise ship, but every one of the cabins is dark, and the interiors, and hopefully the hallways have emergency lighting, but if not, that is is a dark ship. for people sitting in it, and there are the organizing of the wheelchairs there, and that is clear think main exit point to be used on the same level that the gangway has been brought up there. so we can begin to see this process. >> and you can image inside, because obviously, we assume with nothing else to contradict it because it is orderly, but there are lines, and people are very, very eager to get off. they cleared customs and at least a couple of the people that i spoke to and i don't know if everyone did, but they were
able to go down to get their luggage. >> again, we are trying to watch here as people move, and it has been hours that they have been outside of land and family members are watching it on cnn and they want to see people walking off of the gangway. >> the people you are seeing coming off of the gangway is people coming off. yes, this is actually people coming off and before it was cruise line employees running back and forth, but this is the fir first people. and look at them, they are not running. >> no, they are not. >> they ruck wa -- they are walking very orderly. >> a good clip and passengers coming off of the airplane and little roll-ones and now making their way. >> yes. >> and it is orderly of course, and you can only ges what is going through their mind, but it is probably hot shower, hot showerings hot sh in shower, how sho to get a hot sh
and something to eat. >> and yes, even brushing their teeth was incredibly difficult. and food, and other ships dropped off food, but lines of 3 1/2 hours for food, but if you e ended up in the back of the line, you had a bun instead of a hamburger. >> and people said soggy sandwiches if you were tired of it, but then today suddenly the menu changed and it was steak and surf and turf and like you were back on board a cruise ship again. so once more, the better things got the closer to shore they got. >> we heard frit from a lot of people and whether that was helicopter coverage and including the wall-to-wall coverage here on cnn, and multiple passengers told me today that everything was incredibly different in terms of real, real effort to clean and make it better. but as i say that, i want to emphasize something that you have heard as well which is every single person on there has
had inkrcredible things to say about the crew. >> they have indeed. they have all, every person that i have heard on telephone and every loved ones said that the crew were amazing and lived through what we lived there and they helped us and most of them going on two to three hours of sleep per night, and they can't say enough about them. management, different. >> yes, management, very different, but mine, as we talk what will happen in the cruise industry, and talk about the cruises, they are not american. the cruise companies are located outside of the united states and they are not subjected to american labor laws and that means they don't earn minimum wage or anything close to it, and maybe in their home countries it is significant for their families, but they work 12-18 hours a day and don't get a day offer for months and they work incredibly hard, and it is incredible and something to think about. >> and those people know they are a few steps away from ending
what is a horrific journey. i am surprised how many people were carrying luggage off. >> and marty has been saying that it is amazing how many people take smshgs because he would have left his behind. >> yes, there is somebody carrying a child, so we know that it is both the elderly and those with children and special needs that were given priority. jay herring, we will bring you in, because you worked on triumphf atry u trium triumph, and tell us what you are seeing? >> well, this is a great feeling that the passengers are getting off of the ship. you know, it is funny, because normally the luggage is put out the night before, and the cabin stewards will collect it all and take it down to what is the marshling area, and then they put them in giant cages to forklift them off and it make it easier to logistically disembark
and it looks like the passengers are taking off the luggage themselves and that is why instead of taking two hours to get everybody off of the ship, carnival is saying it will take four to five hours. >> well, interesting. all right. i did not understand that when they were saying that exactly why it could take so long. jay, we have been hearing a lot about how amazing the crew is. can you just tell us a little bit about what it is like to be a crew member on these ships. you are working for a very low wage, with very, very long hours, and from many days, without a day off. >> yeah. i mean, it is a typical contract is anywhere from six to eight months, depending upon your position, you could work as few as two hours per cruise like the production singers or you could work as many as 12 to 14 hours a day everyday during the cruise. you guys talked about earlier about the wages that the crew are paid. so, you know, the cruise line,
itself, will typically pay the cruise members a waiter or housekeeping steward an average of 17 cents an hour when you do the math. and so 95% way below and then beyond that, you nknow, you tal about the crew from the third world countries, but if you take say a cabin steward or a bar tend er, a bar waitress, you know, they might on a triumph for example i knew a girl who was bringing in $3,000 to $4,000 a month as a cocktail waitress and you take it back to a country like india or indonesia or the third world countries and this is worth a small fortune and you have crew members on the vessels supporting entire extended families at home. you know, they could work on a cruise ship for five or ten years and actually retire as wealthy citizens in their country of origin.
>> all right. jay, don't go anywhere, because we want to keep you with us, because there is a lot more questions to ask you, but i want to bring in dee who is on the ship with her sister audra and a group of friends and going home to see her fiancee, and where are you, dee, because people are coming off of the ship, and where are you if you can't see it? >> i'm actually on the opposite side of the boat but i'm still on the balcony of my suite. they are going to let us off by floors from the top down. i'm on the sixth floor. so, the people they called, they have been calling particular people for the last hour to head down there. i don't know why these people are getting off first and maybe they have a medical reason or, i don't know, maybe they are taking the bus to galveston, and i'm not really sure, but they have not even started to announce what floors. so we are just waiting.
>> and deer, there is an ambulance that is going by here, and there someone that i can see actually in that ambulance an e elderly woman. i can see that here that went by and yes, some of the people coming off looked to have young children and people in wheelchairs, but there is an older woman there. >> yes, there was a medical call with someone with congestive heart failure and short of breath and that might be her. she was like the 911 call. >> are they going to -- yes. have they -- sorry, have they told you how long it is going to take or are you frustrated or feeling at this point calm and zen about this situation? >> no, i definitely not calm and zen, and i'm just agitated, because we hear everything after everybody else does. after i talked to you the next time it was maybe 45 minutes
later when they finally told us that we would be come ing ing i 10:00 p.m., and at that point i had known from you and from joe that we were going to be getting in at 10:00 and as i said, we kind of hear things afterwards, after everybody else has heard it, so we don't know. we don't know how long it is going to take. but i am just very tired. >> and martin savidge here with erin. >> yes. >> i didn't want to interrupt you, but i wanted to find out that the ceo of carnival says he has come on board to apologize, and are you aware of that or have they made an announcement, because i am curious how they would do that? greet everybody at the gangway? >> who is coming on to pap apologize? >> the ceo of carnival cruise lines. >> oh. no, we didn't hear that either. we got a letter that they sent us, you know, in a generic form letter that said that he just apologized overhead.
so that is the first i have heard of it. >> okay. >> and if you had the chance, anything that you would tell him? >> i would first commend the crew. i think they have done an amazing job and i would make sure that they were paid well for what they did. they did above and beyond, you know, what a person would do in a normal job. and they smiled the whole way. i mean, they were gracious to us. i would let them know that, you know, no matter what happened, they were always there, and helping and that's the first and the foremost. secondly, i would just let them know that i was frustrated when i heard that this boat had repairs needed in the last two or three months and broken down, and that is very disappointing to hear that this is the third or the fourth incident, and so now it is going to be docked to be repaired, but this is way
overdue. i am sure that this cost them quite a bit. you know, so an ounce of prevention would have made a big difference. >> right. it certainly did cost them. dee, thank you very much. i hope that we will see you sooner rather than later. i know you are on the back side and high up, so it could take a while, but we are rooting for you. all right. what i find interesting in one of the things that she said is that this ship had problems before and we can tell you that we know about one other time that the prior voyage to this one the ship was set to depart from galveston it was di layed from the morning to the afternoon with a problem of the propulsion system. >> and yes, with the alter nato and what is interesting is that it is located in the area that we are talking about, and engine room and is that suspect? way too early and guessing, but it has to be noted that they had problems before and the passengers were aware of that
problem and beginning to wonder why this vessel went to sea if there could continue to be a problem. >> of course, the company says no relationship between the prior incident and this incident. >> i would expect that. >> and there is going to be an investigation, and the good thing about this, because the ship is going to be here in mobile at the repair center for a while, they are going to have to do a full and far investigation and seems like that is merited, as we hear, marty, about the fires on the ships and the cruise companies say it is a small fire and not a big deal. but as one maritime lawyer says a fire with a cruise ship with thousands of people on it in the open seas is a big deal. >> well, we are going to move out of the way. >> we can see, there we go. that is a family coming off of the ship. >> quickly directed away from us. we are actually in a position that is very hard to get to anybody.
you can't help but wonder if that is intentional. >> well whaeshg, we had been to some people here in mobile waiting for the families and they told us, and that is all we can tell you is what they told us is that carnival told them not to speak to the press, but a of course, as you know, many people on the ship have been willing and many of the families have been willing to speak to us. >> and carnival denies it, but people on board says they are being asked to sign some waiver before they can get the transportation they need to get back home. >> well, you know, when we went today online to buy a ticket, so that we could look at the form, and you know, when you buy a cruise ticket, you buy with that comes a contract, and in it, it seemed from the way we read it that it would pretty much preclude you from suing them. so that is going to be something that we are going to be following as well. well, natalie demillea is on board with her 3-year-old son and waiting to disembark and she
is joining me by phone. natalie, i understand that you were not given a priority deboarding even though you have a young child and when did the crew tell you that you will be off? >> well, as far as i know they are starting with the lower deck to the higher deck and we are on deck nine so we will be one of the last ones to debark. >> and are you frustrated that you didn't get priority? i mean, you have a very young child. >> well, i have been on this ship for a week, and there is not a whole lot that could frustrate me at this point. it is just part of what it is. >> and how is your little boy doing? >> he is doing okay. i don't think that he completely understands the entire situation what is going on with it. he has certainly been
frustrated. he's more upset about the ipod being dead than anything else. it has been stressful having a 3-year-old. he is actually freshly potty train and the whole situation of not having any sewage has been really stressful on him, and he does not understand that you have to potty in the shower, and we can't use the toilets, and he doesn't understand that the toy slet right here. >> yes, yes. so how are you getting home? are you getting on the bus or staying here in mobile, or do you know? >> actually, my mom was here in mobile, and my friend who i came with, her parents came to pick us up, and we actually live in new orleans, so we'll just be spending the night in my bed tonight. they will pick us up and drive us back to new orleans tonight. >> and i know that over the overhead at least another passenger told us that happened over the overhead that gerry
cahill came here, the ceo of carnival, came over the overhead to apologize, and did you hear it and do you feel that they did it? >> well, carnival, there is not a whole lot else they could have done. they could not help the situation. and carnival handled it very well. i thought that the crew was fantastic, and they did a wonderful job with everything. always smiling faces. carnival has done everything they could to compensate us. to make our stay here as pleasant as possible, and it is a frustrating situation, but they have done everything they could to make it as well as it could be. >> thank you. and bless you and your little boy. i hope that you get off soon, and i'm hear now with janie esperanza and norma reyes who just got off. how do you feel? you look great.
i can't believe i would say that, because you look great. >> thank you. >> oh, my good. >> we are glad to be on dry land. it just has been a horrible experience for us. it was a great cruise to start off with, but it just, you know, the morning of -- >> sunday morning at 5:30, there was a fire alarm and, oh. >> and we have been kept in the dark a lot, and we have not been told everything that we should have. and it is, you know -- the things that just kept getting worse and worse and we could never ever really get a straight answer, and the bathroom facilities were horrible and we could not flush toilets and no electricity, and our rooms were in total dark neness and we had air. >> horrible. horrible. >> and it was just has been a really taxing experience for us. >> very taxing experience. >> and we heard a lot of stressed people on the ship who things started to break down about three days ago and people
are just really on edge and their nerves are on edge. it was just a trying situation and difficult situation for us and never expected anything like this. >> i am sure. i am sure, and we have heard these and seen some of the pictures of the bags and where you had to go to the bathroom and how hard from a dignity perspective. >> yes, yes. >> we take a lot of things for granted, that is for sure back home, and when we had to, to succumb to these situations in the way they were, and it was really bad. i'm sorry, you know, i don't honestly think that this ship should have ever sailed out. i think that there were issues wit and i think that it probably should have stayed in dock. it is an old ship and should not have gone out. >> since 1999. >> the ceo, gerry cahill came on an apologized.
did you toe thknow that? >> well, no, there are a lot of unhappy people because of the conditions and how it went downhill from the first day and we floated for over somewhere around 100 miles. >> for a whole day, they were assessing the situation from sunday morning at 5:30 to probably i guess midnight that night, and they did not know, but a they cou-- because they c open up the engine room where the fire took place, and we were just floating. they said we floated out the sea about 100 miles. >> the first tugboat that came from progresso did not reach us until 24 hours later, and then we weren't, and they kept telling us we were going to progresso, and then they changed it on us, because i think that the logistics was not feasible for that ship to make it back there and dock. i guess to transport 3,000 passengers. >> did they get anything right? i am noticing that you have,
these are the robes from the room? >> well, it was so cold. >> it was so cold, and you didn't have a coat? >> no, we were in cozumel and it was so cold and then our rooms were so uncomfortable as we kept getting closer and closer to the, i guess alabama, we got colder. we could not leave the door open for fresh air and the hallways were toxic and full of urine and our bathrooms were full of urine and our showers were. horrible. >> and the worst part of this whole thing to me is that i don't think that they had a backup plan of any kind for this type of situation, and that is what a lot of people started realizing. they -- it looked like they were trying to figure it out as they were going, and then they would figure something out and change their mind and try to figure something else out. >> a lot of mixed messages. >> nothing like, this is the plan. honestly, i don't believe there was a backup plan for this type
of fire. >> are you going to go on a carnival cruise again? >> no. >> no. >> even though they give you a discount on a future one. >> no, no. if that ship had caught on fire and they had not contained it? where would we all be? either floating in the ocean or dead. and because of their lack of safety measures, i think that we are just very, very fortunate and it was not our time to go. >> where are you headed tonight? >> a hotel. >> a warm shower and a bathroom with flushing toilet, and we are going to rest and head back home tomorrow. >> we appreciate the small and simple things in life that we take for grant ed. >> yes, you are right. >> ladies, i know to get to a shower and talk to us is time that you didn't have. thank you. >> thank you all for being out here. we felt forgotten. >> you were not forgotten, trust us. >> it was scary. >> and as you can see, people are very emotional and there are more people coming off behind
me, and the other thing behind me, and you can see it so i will talk about it. there are a lot of media and camera crews here, and so as people come off, they are running over and surrounding them, and i almost got pushed over in that interview by a camera that was not cnn's while i was talking to those two ladies that you saw there who are now heading to their hotel rooms. let me bring in martin savidge back in. he was there -- trying to hold the microphone, and this is how we are for our two guests there. but this is a -- >> you could see the relief. >> in is what you call a media scrum in terms of the media side, but the people were relieved and they did go through something horrible. >> i hate to say dragging them over, but we did. you could see the emotion. i mean, they were truly something pent up inside of them and they are now on shore and it is over, and you could sense that it was just the way they spoke it is almost cathartic and they have to tell you, because they have been through something fortunately not life-threaten
i ing, but through something e severe. >> and i know that people on twitter and people out there saying, look, why are you all talking about this, it was a few days and not life threatening, and look, understand a little bit about what they are saying, but when you see the people and there is a fire on the ship and you feel so vulnerable and to her point, what if it had been worse and what would have happen and days go by without power, and it is not making you appreciate just the small things in life, but appreciate life. >> it does, indeed. we have another person who has an appreciation of life. rob kent? >> no, kenny. k-e-n-n-y, irish. >> you made it out on the terra firma, a hond does nd how does ? >> well, it is great to be on ground, but it was two days of a great trip and four days of a bad camping trip. >> you say witit with a laugh, people are painting it with a bad circumstance?
>> well, it is all individual and how they perceive the cruise we were on, and for me, you try to make the best of the situation we were in. you had groups of people coming tot and the power of the human spirit to just, we had charging stationing like the activity daily to have certain areas with power and literally put the charging areas that looked like a spaghetti bowl of people hanging around and playing music and drank club soda and sprite and coke and that is what we did. >> well, i heard they were giving away free alcohol, too. >> i think they did one of the nights, so yeah, i am sure that is good welcomed relief for many. so absolutely. >> this is really one of the classic experiments where you take a population and isolate them and take away all of the modern modern conveniences, and what kind of experiment is that? is. >> well, it is right. it is being not connected with the outside world, because we felt really from the first day of the day of the fire and was, you know, later in the day,
okay, there is going to be a sister ship coming to drop provisions, and we were like, oh, they are going to have wi-fi out there and we can get out because the communications were cut off that we could get on the boat. so, the ship came closer and we were like, okay, we are getting a signal, and we are getting out and people were giving each other cell phones and whatever carrier and gettinging through to the loved ones, and that is awesome and the next day, two more provisions dropped from other ships, and i think that kind of really kept people's spirits up, but there was the three days where we had zero communications and people were getting antsy, because they wanted to tuck to the lowant t wanted to talk to the loved ones and find out what was going on. >> and were you worried about the fire on the ship, and we found out about listing and there had to be moments that you were vulnerable out there and did you feel that way? >> yes, a little bit. like i said my personality is to take it in stride. i don't want to worry too much,
but i don't want to get overexcited, but what i do remember is that when you are on going through the muster station drills and the safety procedure s and talking about the worst thing that can happen on the ship is a fire, and yeah, that is not going to happen, and then, of course, you are woken up at 5:30 a.m. by the captain saying alpha team and you are putting two and two together and smelling smoke, and yeah, that is a little unnerving and at that point you are saying, we are out here in the gulf and nothing out here. that was a little scary. we were dead in the water for the no other way to put it. >> and the isolation pact that you talk about is the same thing that people in katrina in new orleans that were left behind, they didn't hear anything, and your mind is racing and you wonder if anybody knows the circumstance and of course, any rumor is solid fact and it spreads in a closed environment and it is similar. >> well, put that inin
perspective, because katrina is a major devastation and we were on a frigging cruise ship having a good time and from that angle, i get it because of the isolation of the communication, but two different things, two different things. >> what was it like when you were first to talk to someone? >> great. getting through to my wife and being able to talk to my kids for a little bit to say, hey, i'm out here all right is awesome to be able to do that. you know, you speak to them a couple of days on the cruise and, you know nashgs was good to be p able to have that, knowing that i'm okay, and the ship is still here and we are not sinking or anything like that. >> will you go on a cruise again? >> i would. i mean, it will take a while and not like next week or anything and i would hate for this to happen in alaska, because that would be brutal, but at least it was good weather and people were out and having the best of it. >> you had a coat. we were talking to two people with the robes on from the bathroom without a coat. >> yes, complimentary robes were
given out, and that came off of the ship. that you know, i didn't get one of those. >> the least they could do. >> absolutely. >> where are you headed next, and how do you get there? >> i am heading to dallas probably tomorrow and go see my family and wife and kids, and you know, be ready to go. so. >> all right. thank you, kenny. we appreciate your taking the time. >> and we appreciate anybody who stops to talk to us, and you put off taking a shower to talk to us. >> you look great. thanks. but, again, that ordeal, and what is interesting is what he describes there and what many passengers talking about the isolation and they knew when another cruise ship came by and their cruise ship was dead and they could not send signals, but another ship in wi-fi, they see the phones light up and the ind kay or the and now we can tell someone and look, that is why the families were getting messages at 5:00 this the morning or the 6:00 in morn, because that is the obl tinly t they could communicate.
>> and to your point, an experience like this makes you realize the things that you take for granted the fact that you can talk the your wife and kids all of the time and text them pictures and send them videos and all of the sudden you can't talk to them for two days. you appreciate when you can. >> the fam loin shore is probably worst at all, because those on the ship know they are okay, but the family has heard one thing, a fire and nothing else. and they are caught in this turmoil of wondering and fearing and probably imagining the very worst and only the follow-up text that we are on the way back. it would have been very stressful. >> and we talked about the fire situation and fire obviously and the question is severe or not severe and real questions about that. i have seen a lot of documents about the cruises, but they always imemphasize the fire dri and the crew is so ready, so ready, but it is something like that makes you think, are they? what are the backup plans?
that i think is a really crucial question. >> brian brunz is with us, and he is a former member of the cruise confidential, and are cruises ready for fires? >> well, just because they are like a hotel, it does not mean they are like that. these people are sailors. they have to take training and learn how to manage crowds and it does not matter if english is the second or the third or the fourth language and they are on top of that and they have to do that before they get their job on board. if it is a fire, they know what to do and bad fire how to get everybody to the muster stations, and the problem with this is that it was a contained fire and not something that anybody expected, because it was kind of hanging around. so, the crew can only do what they are told to do, and the
higher-ups, didn't know what to tell them to do. in the case of a big fire, they'd know exactly what to do. >> well, thank you, and please stay with us. i want to bring in britney ferguson here. britney, i'm so thrilled to see you and sorry we lost power, so that the viewers if we take ta shot, it is dark here. you are here in your robe, and tell us what it was like getting off of the ship. >> oh, getting off of the ship was the best part. it was, we were towards the front of the line. that was good. everyone was just chaotic and trying to get off of the ship as fast as they can. it was just at least, you know, it is like fresh air finally. smelled like sewage and human waste, and so it is good to finally see some land and buildings and fresh air. so this is -- she kept me sane the whole time. >> sorry about that.
>> i know you are all being -- >> who is here na has joined us? >> i'm kendall jenkins. >> and you are 24, also? >> yes, we are twins and she copied me, because i had this outfit picked out first. we won this cruise at a houston rockets game, and so lucky us. >> you have something to talk about. >> and go rockets. >> maybe we will get some tickets out of that or something. >> and what do you have planned to do next, aim sure it is not disney world, but what is next on the agenda? >> she has a big trip coming up on a mission trip. >> yes, i'm in india next week. >> i get a week of comfort and then off again. >> spreading the good news to india. >> yes, trying to. >> and is it emotional for you to be back on shore and be safe and vit over? >> yes, it was more emotional just when i talked to my parents. just hearing their voices on the phone, because we had like two days of no cell phone service
and had no idea when we would be back, so just to hear their voices and just like tears and everything, but land like this just feels awesome. i just -- >> i could diss groukiss the gr. we were like, oh, my gosh, yes. >> and were you at all scared that morning? >> i thought it was it. >> yeah, we were ready to -- and we woke up at the first alarm and we said, put on the running shoes because we felt that something was off and we jetted there. was a rogue passenger we called him banging on the doors, fire, fire, and we were right behind him with the life vests. >> they were like get to the life both, and i thought, this is it. scariest part. >> you thought that your lives were ending? >> yes, like the "titanic" status, because they were saying in the brief iing the worst thi that can happen is a fire, and we smelled smoke. >> yes, the halls were filling up with smoke, and the smoke was on the pipes -- >> you ne tissnoticed it?
>> oh, yes, absolutely. >> one cool thing on the ship is bible studies held, and through the unknown that we knew our eyes were on the lord and we knew that even though things were out of control, he was in complete control and somehow this would be used for his glory and i'm excited to see what that is for? >> what is your mission for? more mo mo mo mormon? >> no, christian. >> and we are happy to see inside, the passengers are waving and pretty happy to be there and signaling that they have some indication, we are here. >> yes. >> and we are on the way. this is the first step of the journey and the low jis ti-- logistics.
>> i'm from the houston "chronicle" and i would like to talk to the girls. >> thank you for taking your time to talk to us. >> okay. >> there are reunions literally taking place all around us. >> there are. just behind us we could see a family with a young baby that i think is going to come over to talk to us in a couple of moments. see if we can get her. martin is going to step out of the shot and try to bring her in. we will see -- >> i have to go. i am heading off and my husband just left me and told me not to -- and i have to go. >> patti from cnn. i know your husband and i don't want to -- >> my husband just left me, and he was off getting a cab and they told us not to stop for this press, but i wanted to say that we were are so happy to be back on land and i want to give god the glory, because we got a
prayer grouping at t together at every night at 7:00 and prayed over the ship and the people that were working. and i really believe it was by the grace of god that we all got home, because it was very scary. the crew was wonderful, but i believe that carnival was negligent in what happened. so i give god the glory and thank you, cnn, for covering it. >> welcome back. >> you look fantastic. >> thank you. and now i have to find my husband. >> all righty. thank you, patti. >> okay. >> there is a lot of that and there she goes. >> thank you. >> and there, again. >> we know you have all sorts of feelings and kenny was look it is a cruise, don't worry about it, but he did talk about being afraid at moments, but some people who did feel afraid and i can imagine when you smell that smoke and think that your life flashes before your eyes. >> it is interesting.
>> and talking about "titanic" that sank in two hours and things can happen. >> yes, and history has shown that and people clearly had been told that fire is the worst thing and what do you wake up the next morning and see, fire. that is why they were so absolutely frightened, because they had just been told that is something that you don't want to have happen. but if you take a look behind us there, there is a massive crowd that has now become the mix of where you have got people with their bags, people with their things and loved ones hopefully in tow trying to come out here to make their way. some will go to hotels and others on buses and others will eventually board flights, because they will get back to where they got on. >> i have to admit that you can smell it. >> yes, you can. >> and you can smell it and some of you wondering if you can, and it is not overwhelming, but yes, you can smell it. and we can only imagine how horrible in the hallways or the rooms where there had been no sewage. now, the generators usually run,
and they don't just dump them into the water and they have to have sewage treatment, and i'm not aware if the generator could operate the sewage treatment or not. >> and that is part of the problem that they ran into, and this is why you have people going to use the plastic bags and things because they had to maintain that they could not become a pollution problem on top of what they had, so they were careful in trying to acknowledge that there is an environment they have to worry about outside in the ocean. we will see how it plays out with the investigation, but this t meantime, we continue the watch all of this. >> excuse me? jim walker. >> jim, how are you? >> lee. >> we are doing good. we are happy to be back and the crew did a great job to take care of us. it was not as bad for us as some people. >> why do you say that?
>> because it was an interior cabin and mostly hot, and we had intermittent toilet and so we didn't have to go outside on the decks. and we didn't have small children. >> and you had to -- >> we did not. >> how does it feel? it is great to be home and one thing i would say is happy valentine's day to my wife who won't let me go on the buddy trip that went awry. >> where is she? >> back in kansas. >> kansas. and where are you headed tonight. >> i will be here tonight and fly out in morning. >> and you have communicated to her? >> yes, the cell phones were working intermittently coming up alongside other boats, and we had brief periods of time and i don't know if you saw the pictures of the macgyver-like wiring that people had to get at the charging stations, but -- >> quite clever actually. >> we heard it was a little bit interesting. >> yes, interesting, but it was great. >> what was the first phone call like?
>> it was really good. actually, the first phone call with her was wonderful, but still kind of surreal, and it really sunk in for her after we had not talked for a couple of days and got closer so great to hear my family was doing w wonderfully and she did a great job on the home front. >> we have heard that it brings out the best and the worst and we have heard anecdotes of waiting for three hours in line for food and then people being generous with the cell phone, was there a good or really bad moment that stands out to you? >> i saw a lot more of the good behavior and a lot less of the bad behavior so that the tempers would flare occasionally, but nothing too dramatic, and the great experience of this is that i got to meet people in the hallway and smip that i never would have come into contact with on a regular cruise and a they were gracious and very much like a family. >> just so folks at home know that noise, that is drowning us
out is a bus kind of making the way through. and they are waving. they are clearing a path. >> and the way i would describe what is happening with the bus is that the bus driver is frustrated with the people out here and the people on the bus are waving and happy to see the bus, so different motivations there for the people. >> you can see one young woman on the bus with a sign "need wine." >> i'm surprised getting off of the cruise. >> maybe you do need a drink. >> that would be great. no, they did cut off the bars pretty early when we started to have trouble with the electricity, but a nice beer night thanks to carnival and can't say enough about the staff there, because they really, they were in the bowels of the ship,
and it was not great conditions for anybody, and for them in particular, we saw a lot of kindness from them, and a lot of the american behavior that you see occasionally with travelers, but really, the travelers were great, too. >> what is the american behavior? >> well, just the kind of -- >> and want to be home yesterday. >> and why isn't my coffee hot? but not much of it at all. >> and what is the lowest point for you? >> well, there wasn't really. for us, i have to say know, traveling with two other guys and being in a situation where i didn't have friends, family or anyone like that was great. >> welcome back. >> we thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> come on in, hon. are you brooklyn? >> yes. >> are you brooklyn burgess? >> yes. >> i have met your mom and dad. >> yes. >> this must be rob and erin.
okay. joe. yep, they are altogether. all right. how does it feel, guys? >> oh -- >> wonderful. >> it does. it is. it feels wonderful. >> i am so happy to be back, and i don't know, you take the little things for granted, so it is wonderful to be here. >> what was it like to see your husband and dad after all of that you went through? >> well, he picked me up and hugged me, and i started crying. it was just so good to see him. after being on that boat for that long and not knowing when or how we were getting back and it was so good to be finally back. >> you appreciate your dad in a way, that you always loved him, but maybe you didn't know how much until now. >> did you have any idea how much you were coming back to as the greeting? >> no, no idea.
i said, i don't have a boyfriend or anything, but i sure hope somebody that missed me is there waiting for me when i get back. i was not expecting this. >> little did you know. >> wonderful valentine's day present. this is the best. >> this is the best valentine's day and your brother is here as well. he was here earlier. >> yes. >> well, good for all of you and you will spend the night here and then go home tomorrow? >> yes, we are. >> all right. well, welcome back. >> i have to say you all look very good for just getting awe of a cruise ship. >> and you look like you got a little sun. >> i did. i am probably peeling and stuff. >> you look healthy and rosey cheeked and all. >> people did spend time outdoors? >> we had to, yes, sir. except for the last day, you know, it got so cold that, you know, everybody was out. you could not tell from the ship, or the helicopters or whatever that were coming over today, but before that, i mean,
it was just tent city, if y'all remember what the super dome looked like in katrina and that is what the open deck looked like, and unbelievable, but they asked us to take them all down when the helicopter made deliveries, and so we did that and they straightened everything up, and it looks tidy right now, but that is not the way it was. it is unfortunate for those who had their beds and everything out there, because we ran into rains, and they had no warning and they all got soaked so it was sad. >> okay. so welcome back and thank you so much and have a wonderful time together with your family. thank you so much for watching. martin savidge and i will continue here and be meeting a lot more families and watching a lot more reunions. thanks for watching. we will be here, and "piers morgan" is next. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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